ERMANNO WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948): Piano Quintet in D Flat, Op. 6, Cello Sonata in G, Op. 30, Duo for Violin and Cello in G Minor, Op. 33.

Catalogue Number: 08Y026

Label: Brilliant Classics

Reference: 96590

Format: CD

Price: $12.98

Description: A new installment in this label’s recording project of the complete chamber music by Wolf-Ferrari. The Piano Quintet dates from 1900. Some of the cantabile melodies may remind us of Brahms, and the delicately embroidered harmony of Hugo Wolf, but Wolf-Ferrari’s characteristic sweetness of tone does not descend into decorative mannerism or affected sentimentalism: he was, to the core, a German-Italian composer with a foot on both sides of the Alps. More than any other of his early chamber works, the Piano Quintet successfully embodies his declared aim as a composer, to create a “universal beauty” where no rules apply, but only a feeling of well-being and sensuousness – especially in the ebullient Scherzo and Trio. The Cello Sonata (1945) and Duo for violin and cello (1946) share the Romantic language of his early chamber music, but now refined by an escapist mode of neo-classicism, particularly in the lively dialogue of the Duo. The Cello Sonata is imbued with a gentle radiance throughout its brief, traditionally structured quarter-hour duration, drawing on a nostalgic vein of expression which comes naturally to the cello, and including literal echoes of Brahms in the slow movement. Costantino Catena (piano), Amadeo Cicchese (cello), Quartetto Guadagnini.

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